Any form of human relationship is sustained by regular, open and consistent communication. The hallmark of effective communication is establishing a shared or common understanding. This eliminates assumptive tendencies towards deducing what the next person is really saying. One of the most efficacious ways of reaching that shared understanding is asking questions. That’s why customer feedback is a central pillar to optimal business performance. A business that fosters a healthy and symbiotic dialogue with its customers will always have a competitive edge. Let’s discuss 10 questions to ask customers that’ll facilitate the improvement of your business. Take note, these are guide questions, you can rephrase them to your context if you want, in ways you feel can be more engaging.

How Did You Know About Or Find Us?

My assumption is that as a business you’re using multiple channels to market your brand. So it serves you well if you can establish stats on the contributions each channel is making to customer inflows. You could, for instance, be investing lots of money in marketing using print media when in actual effect it’s not translating into customer inflows. This also helps you to note which channels are being most effective so that you enhance them more.

Why Did You Choose Us?

Here you want to evaluate what it is about your brand that is standing out to prospective customers. Normally any business institutes a unique value proposition bent on luring customers. Instead of assuming it is actually working it’s wiser to ascertain if it is. This question even unearths for you, insights about what makes you stand out that you probably had no idea about. Again this helps you note areas that need to be augmented more if they are being a hit with prospective customers.

What Challenges Do You Face In Accessing Or Using Our Products/Services?

Customer or user experience is important in business. Whatever your business offers must be experienced in ways that encourage repeat purchases and even referrals by satisfied customers. This question helps you identify any bottlenecks in the value chain. It also gives insights into the challenges customers are facing in their use of your products or services. This becomes a basis for continual improvement with the thrust of enhancing customer or user experiences.

Are Your Needs And Expectations From Us Being Met?

Never forget that when customers come to your business they have problems that they need solutions to. Plus they come with preconceived expectations which if not met can silently drive them away. So instead of assuming all is well, take time to find out what those needs and expectations are and if they are being met or not.

Have You Ever Used Our Competitors’ Products/Services?

You can never be a successful business without detailed insights on your competitors. Some businesses even go as far as paying employees from rival camps in order to get insider information – that’s how fierce it can get. Anyways, a far easier and ethical way is to inquire from your customers if they have ever used competitor brands before. If yes, then you can find out what their experience was like and gain invaluable insights. The crux will be to emulate their positives and use their downsides against them.

Which Features About Our Products Are Your Favourites? Why?

A product can be comprised of many features and that creates a need to evaluate. It’s important to know which features are most liked and essentially most used. Concerted efforts to further improve those features will obviously lead to increased customer satisfaction. The reasons why they favour any particular features can also let you in on some very important insights.

Which Features Do You Find Irrelevant And Which Features Do You Wish Were Included?

Having multiple features necessitates evaluation as I alluded to earlier. You need to find out from customers about features that they find irrelevant and ones they would love to see included. It’s also vital that you ask them why so that you appreciate the rationale behind their perspectives. You can end up saving money by removing irrelevant features. You also get to realize possible features you could have missed or overlooked before that customers need.

How Would You Rate Our Customer Service? Why?

A lot of businesses perform dismally at that their overall customer service especially handling complaints. Surveys show that at least 6 out 10 customers will switch to a new business service provider owing to bad customer service. So it’s crucial to get honest feedback from customers on how you are faring in your customer service. Customer service must never be taken lightly because it’s the biggest driver of customer behaviour especially if your business has many competitors.

How Often Do You Use Our Products? Why?

You want to have an idea of how dispensable or indispensable your products are to customers. This will go a long way in helping you affect mechanisms that promote repeat purchases and customer loyalty. This is a loaded question because it can unearth tonnes of information about your brand as a whole.

Any Suggestions You Feel Will Enhance Our Brand?

The preceding 9 questions have been somewhat direct and guided. With this question, you want to be more open-ended and allow the customers to be more liberal. Enhancement in your brand is a plus for your customers so they will definitely be very honest on this question.

If you create an atmosphere of dialogue and ask these 10 questions you’ll get priceless information that’ll inform your business strategy. Remember, asking questions is good but don’t overdo it and don’t sound interrogative – customers don’t normally like that. Be as natural as can be and make it so interactive and you’ll find your customers being open and honest. Never ever forget that products must be tailored to suit customer needs and expectations. Acquire customer feedback so that you don’t fall prey to assuming that what you’re offering suffices.